Thursday, June 03, 2004

阅读新闻中必须了解的职业委婉语

阅读新闻中必须了解的职业委婉语
2004-01-16 arzhi
  生活中有一种有趣的现象,人们往往避免直言社会地位低下、被人瞧不起的职业。在提及这些职业的从业者时,人们用一种含蓄委婉的方式来表达。例如:主人对客人提到家里雇佣的小保姆时,会说“我们家的小姐姐”或“小阿姨”,这种借用孩子对小保姆的称呼来指称小保姆的方式就是一种委婉的表达。这种表达虽然有点含糊,但是这样不仅避免了直言可能带来的尴尬,而且让在场的小保姆感到亲切、愉快,这也是使用委婉语要达到的交际目的。委婉语是一种语言艺术。英语中委婉语一词是euphemism,它源于希腊语,词头"eu-"的意思是"good"(好),词干"phemism"的意思是"speech"(言语),整个字面意义是"word of good omen"(吉言,好的说法)。所谓委婉语,就是用好听的、使人感到愉快的说法代替令人不悦的或不敬的表达方法。

  英语中有很多职业委婉语。使用职业委婉语的主要目的是为了将传统意义的“低下”职业“体面化”。委婉表达职业的方式多种多样,其中一种是将职业地位人为地拔高。例如:将餐厅中的waiter或waitress(服务员)称为"dining-room attendants(餐厅管理员)"时,服务员的地位被提升为管理员。又如:operator(接线员)被称为"communication monitor(通讯监察人员)"时,接线员的地位被抬高至监察员。再如:cook被称为"chef"时,其地位立刻由厨子变成了烹饪大师,同样运用这种委婉方式,“灭鼠者”变成了“清理工程师(exterminating engineer)”;"dog catcher(捕野狗者)"被尊称为"animal control warden(动物控制人员)"。

  另一种委婉表达职业的方式是将难听、刺耳的职业美化。例如:"undertaker(焚尸工)"美其名曰"funeral service practitioner(殡葬服务承办人)";"maid(女仆,女佣人)"被美化为"domestic help(家政助理)";连无职业的家庭主妇也被美称为"domestic engineer(室内工程师,内务工程师)"。

  还有一种委婉表达职业的方法就是采用类比修饰法。地位低微、受人歧视的职业通过往上类比,马上变得身价倍增。比如:将landscape worker(园林工人)类比成"landscape architect(园林建筑师)","狱卒"通过类比变成"长官(prison officer)",连butter(屠夫)也借"meat technologist(肉类技术专家)"之名聊以自慰。

  以下列举一些职业委婉语,借此我们可以领略到更多的委婉表达方法。

  secretary(秘书)--administrative assistant(行政助理);

  shoe maker(修鞋匠)--shoe rebuilder(重整鞋者);

  garbage man(垃圾工人)--sanitation engineer(清洁工程师);

  dishwasher(洗盘子的人)--utensil maintenance man(餐具维护者);

  washwoman(洗衣女工)--clothing re- fresher(清理衣服者);

  salesman(销售员)--manufacturer's representative(生产商代表);

  bus boy(餐厅打杂工)--sanitarian(卫生员);

  hairdresser(理发师)--beautician,cosmetologist(美容师);

  janitor(看门人)--security officer(安全官员),maintenance engineer(维护工程师);

  ditcher(挖沟工人)--excavation technician(挖掘技术员)。

  有时,职业委婉语也用于某些地位并不低下的职业,使其在某些场合听上去更庄重、更得体。如:把singer或dancer称为"culture worker(文化工作者)",把"migrant worker(打工仔,民工)"称为"seasonal employee(季节性雇员)",把"priest(牧师)"称为"religious worker(宗教工作者)"。

  由此可见,在阅读英文报刊中了解委婉语这种语言艺术,有助于我们更好把握文章所传达的意思

6 Comments:

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